Burauen Leyte – Baguio City may be celebrating Penagbenga, but Leyte is also on a festive vibe, thanks to the Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park (MVNP) Outdoor Festival.
Created and declared an official festival thru Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Resolution No. 3 series of 2015, the extravaganza aims to get the attention of park visitors and promote ecotourism, conservation education, and local community values at the MVNP.
This is a different kind of festival, since visitors are not only welcomed to the usual event such as singing, dancing, and endless partying; they are also given a unique treat of nature’s treasures, including awe-inspiring craters, multi-colored muds and rocks, lakes, hot springs, virgin forests, a lagoon, and temperate climate.
This is definitely a breath of fresh air, especially for travellers who are looking to explore more about Eastern Visayas. Situated in between the seemingly sleepy towns of Burauen and La Paz, MVNP is home not just to a dormant volcano, but a pristine lake and surrounding lush greens as well.
MVNP has been declared a national natural park since 1937. The first MVNP Outdoor Festival opened its gates to the masses in early February, with a wide array of activities for nature enthusiasts of all ages-including picnics, boat races, dragon boat paddling sessions, etc.
How to get there?
MVNP is located in the heart of Leyte Cordillera within the jurisdiction of the municipalities of Burauen & LaPaz both of the Province of Leyte. It lies about 18 kilometers southwest from the poblacion of Burauen which is approximately 42 kilometers from the regional capital, Tacloban City. In Tacloban City, the nearest urban center, there are public utility transport plying the Tacloban – Dagami – Burauen or Tacloban -Dulag – Burauen route. From the town proper of Burauen, the park is accessible by municipal and barangay roads where motorcycles can be hired from Burauen bus terminal. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes. The park can also be reached from the town proper of LaPaz passing through Barangay Bocawon.
Photo: Lemuel Palejaro